Strawberry Gouda Pecan Salad
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- large head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 lb
- gouda cheese, sliced and cut into thin, bite-sized pieces pieces
- 3 c
- strawberries, hulled, sliced 1/8
- 1 c
- toasted, caramelized pecans, lightly chopped (see below for caramelizing technique)
- 1 small
- cucumber, sliced very thinly
- 1/2 c
- strawberry preserves or seedless strawberry jam
- 1 c
- vegetable oil
- 1 clove
- garlic, pressed
- 1/2 c
- strawberry or raspberry vinegar
- salt and pepper, to taste
1Rinse lettuce. Drain well and dry, and tear into bite-sized pieces. Arrange lettuce on a chilled platter.
2Slice and cut the Gouda into bite-sized pieces. Arrange on top of bed of romaine lettuce.
3Slice strawberries with an egg slicer, and arrange in between the pieces of cheese.
4Slice cucumber into VERY thin slices. Slit each cucumber slice from center to outer edge, one time. Make a cucumber twist by giving the slice a twist at the "opening" of the cucumber at the slice, and arrange on top of the lettuce bed with the strawberries and Gouda.
5Toast the pecans in an 8" saute pan, with 2 - 3 tbsp. sugar,for about 5 minutes, until the sugar caramelizes and the pecans have a nice roasted color. Don't add any fluid ... just let the sugar caramelize the pecans. Let pecans cool, then give them a 'rough chop', leaving in rather large, coarse pieces. Use a food chopper or large sharp knife for this. Set aside for the moment.
6For dressing, use a whisk to mix jam, oil, pressed garlic clove, vinegar and salt and pepper in large glass measuring cup. Drizzle over the salad. Sprinkle pecans over the top of all.
7Serve right away, with extra vinaigrette on the side for those who might prefer more.